Many women experience pelvic pain at some point in their lives. Pelvic pain may be constant or it may come and go. It may occur only at specific times, such as before or after eating or during urination, sex or your menstrual period. Pelvic pain is classified as acute if it is of short duration, or chronic if it has been present for more than three months.
You should contact Dr. Garofalo if you are experiencing pelvic pain that is frequent, intense or disruptive to your daily activities or enjoyment of life.
What causes pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain can be caused by or related to a wide range of conditions. These include:
- scar tissue
- infection of reproductive organs, urinary tract, bowels or appendix
- ovarian cysts (abnormal, fluid-filled cavities that form in or on the ovaries)
- ectopic pregnancy (when an embryo becomes implanted in any tissue other than the uterine wall)
- dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual pain)
- functional cysts from ovulation
- endometriosis (when uterine tissue grows outside the uterus)
- fibroids (non-cancerous tumors comprised of muscle cells derived from the uterus)
- gastrointestinal or urinary problems, including inflammation, constipation or cancer
- muscular and skeletal problems
- stress or depression
- pelvic floor myofascial syndrome
How is pelvic pain diagnosed?
If you are experiencing pelvic pain, Dr. Garofalo can review your medical and sexual history with you. We strongly recommend that you download and complete the International Pelvic Pain Society Pelvic Pain Assessment Form. Dr. Garofalo may also ask you to keep a journal in which you describe the nature of your pain, such as dates, time of day, intensity, length, location and what you were doing when the pain appeared or intensified. A physical exam and ultrasound scan are usually needed to determine the cause of pelvic pain. If the pain is severe or persistent, laparoscopy may be needed for definitive diagnosis of pelvic pain.